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House Ag Committee Approves Oversight Agenda

The House Agriculture Committee Thursday approved an agenda of oversight hearings that covers a broad range of issues, from the Farm Bill to international food aid.

The 9-page laundry list of topics for the committee to consider–a reminder that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a quite the variety of mandates and responsibilities–includes a section on food safety, which lists the following oversight priorities:

-Review implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act;

-Review implementation of the recent FDA Egg Safety Rule;

-Review USDA’s administration of meat and poultry inspection laws and the FDA’s food inspection activities to ensure the development of scientifically sound systems for food safety assurance;

-Review USDA’s implementation of the catfish inspection program;

-Review USDA’s efforts to educate consumers regarding safe food handling practices and streamline the assessment and approval of food safety technologies;

-Review implementation of new protocols for meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood safety inspection; and

-Review USDA’s enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and humane handling regulations.

The committee also lists a few points specifically on biotechnology:

-Review current regulations and research regarding animal and plant biotechnology;

-Review the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) findings regarding cloned animal products and regulation of genetically engineered animals;

-Assess USDA’s efforts to develop and promote benefits of biotechnology for increasing agricultural productivity and combating hunger globally; and

-Review USDA”s management and controls over biotechnology-derived material.

According to the draft oversight plan, the Ag committee has a lot of heavy lifting planned. On top of food safety and biotech, the 2012 Farm Bill, international free trade agreements, conservation, energy, civil rights, and rural development are just a few of the subjects the committee plans to consider.

© Food Safety News
  • I pray that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and others will fulfill their promises for strong oversight in the areas listed.
    For, at least, the last 5 years; the senior leadership of the FDA, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) have covered up what really happened in major food safety regulation failures of the FDA.
    There will never be significant improvement in the safety of the food regulated by the FDA until the FDA is held accountable by the media, public and, ultimately, Congress, for the quality of its regulation. Hopefully, the new House Ag Committee will quickly begin following through on the oversight it has promised.
    That would certainly be different than what occurred during the 111th Congress.
    Sadly, as Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) noted during its debate, the FSMA does NOT address this, the #1 problem in food safety regulation.

  • I pray that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and others will fulfill their promises for strong oversight in the areas listed.
    For, at least, the last 5 years; the senior leadership of the FDA, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) have covered up what really happened in major food safety regulation failures of the FDA.
    There will never be significant improvement in the safety of the food regulated by the FDA until the FDA is held accountable by the media, public and, ultimately, Congress, for the quality of its regulation. Hopefully, the new House Ag Committee will quickly begin following through on the oversight it has promised.
    That would certainly be different than what occurred during the 111th Congress.
    Sadly, as Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) noted during its debate, the FSMA does NOT address this, the #1 problem in food safety regulation.